As soloist, master class teacher, and pianist of the world-renowned Beaux Arts Trio, Menahem Pressler can boast of four Grammy nominations, three honorary doctorates, more than 80 recordings, and lifetime achievement awards presented by France, Germany, and Israel. Former Pressler student William Brown traces the master's pianistic development through Rudiakov, Kestenberg, Vengerova, Casadesus, Petri, and Steuermann, blending techniques and traditions derived from Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and J. S. Bach.
Brown presents Pressler's approach to performance and teaching, including technical exercises, principles of relaxation and total body involvement, and images to guide the pianist's creativity toward expressive interpretation. Insights from the author's own lessons, interviews with Pressler, and recollections of more than 100 Pressler students from the past 50 years are gathered in this text. Measure-by-measure lessons on 23 piano masterworks by, among others, Bach, Bart k, Debussy, and Ravel as well as transcriptions of Pressler's fingerings, hand redistributions, practicing guidelines, musical scores, and master class performances are included.
An extraordinary prodigy of Mozartean abilities, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a distinguished composer and conductor, a legendary pianist and organist, and an accomplished painter and classicist. Lionized in his lifetime, he is best remembered today for several staples of the concert hall and for such popular music as The Wedding March and Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.
Now, in the first major Mendelssohn biography to appear in decades, R. Larry Todd offers a remarkably fresh account of this musical giant, based upon painstaking research in autograph manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, and paintings. Rejecting the view of the composer as a craftsman of felicitous but sentimental, saccharine works (termed by one critic moonlight with sugar water), Todd reexamines the composer's entire oeuvre, including many unpublished and little known works. Here are engaging analyses of Mendelssohn's distinctive masterpieces--the zestful Octet, puckish Midsummer Night's Dream, haunting Hebrides Overtures, and elegiac Violin Concerto in E minor. Todd describes how the composer excelled in understatement and nuance, in subtle, coloristic orchestrations that lent his scores an undeniable freshness and vividness. He also explores Mendelssohn's changing awareness of his religious heritage, Wagner's virulent anti-Semitic attack on Mendelssohn's music, the composer's complex relationship with his sister Fanny Hensel, herself a child prodigy and prolific composer, his avocation as a painter and draughtsman, and his remarkable, polylingual correspondence with the cultural elite of his time.
Mendelssohn: A Life offers a masterful blend of biography and musical analysis. Readers will discover many new facets of the familiar but misunderstood composer and gain new perspectives on one of the most formidable musical geniuses of all time.
In this book, Robert Sherlaw Johnson discusses all Messiaen's works, exploring his musical language, the development of his technique, his individual approach to harmony and rhythm, the theological and symbolic aspects of his music, and his use of birdsong.
This first, authorized biography of one of the 20th century's greatest violinists chronicles the life of Michael Rabin from his young boyhood to his premature death at the age of 35. By his teen years in the 1950s, he had already joined the ranks of violin greats and he was being compared to Heifetz, Milstein, Stern, and Francescatti. Lovingly detailed, rich in music history and drama, this biography documents the many forces that shaped Rabin's extraordinary life and career, from his meteoric rise to his surprising decline. Feinstein charts Rabin's many artistic successes, as well as his struggles to make the transition from wunderkind to adult virtuoso, and sheds light on the true reasons for his fall from grace, debunking the many rumors that surrounded him during that time. Feinstein also clarifies the facts relating to Rabin's sudden death. What emerges is a unique profile of a prodiginous talent and a tragic life.
Mozart is the archetypal child prodigy whose genius triumphed over precociousness, and who later broke away from a loving but tyrannical father to pursue his vision unhampered. Peter Gay traces the development of the man and the composer who pushed every genre - especially opera - into new realms.
Eminent historian Paul Johnson dazzles with a rich, succinct portrait of Mozart and his music
As he s done in "Napoleon," "Churchill," "Jesus," and "Darwin," acclaimed historian and author Paul Johnson here offers a concise, illuminating biography of Mozart. Johnson s focus is on the music Mozart s wondrous output of composition and his uncanny gift for instrumentation.
Liszt once said that Mozart composed more bars than a trained copyist could write in a lifetime. Mozart s gift and skill with instruments was also remarkable as he mastered all of them except the harp. For example, no sooner had the clarinet been invented and introduced than Mozart began playing and composing for it.
In addition to his many insights into Mozart s music, Johnson also challenges the many myths that have followed Mozart, including those about the composer s health, wealth, religion, and relationships. Always engaging, Johnson offers readers and music lovers a superb examination of Mozart and his glorious music, which is still performed every day in concert halls and opera houses around the world."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the great icons of Western music. An amazing prodigy--he toured the capitals of Europe while still a child, astonishing royalty and professional musicians with his precocious skills--he wrote as an adult some of the finest music in the entire European tradition.
Julian Rushton offers a concise and up-to-date biography of this musical genius, combining a well-researched life of the composer with an introduction to the works--symphonic, chamber, sacred, and theatrical--of one of the few musicians in history to have written undisputed masterpieces across every genre of his time. Rushton offers a vivid portrait of the composer, ranging from Mozart the Wunderkind--travelling with his family from Salzburg to Vienna, Paris, London, Rome, and Milan--to the mature author of such classic works as The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute. During the past half-century, scholars have thoroughly explored Mozart's life and music, offering new interpretations of his compositions based on their historical context and providing a factual basis for confirming or, more often, debunking fanciful accounts of the man and his work. Rushton takes full advantage of these biographical and musical studies as well as the definitive New Mozart Edition to provide an accurate account of Mozart's life and, equally important, an insightful look at the music itself, complete with musical examples.
An engaging biography for general readers that will also be an informative resource for scholars, this new addition to the prestigious Master Musicians series offers an authoritative portrait of one of the defining figures of European culture.
Maynard Solomon writes with the grace of a novelist, the insight of a philosopher, and the precision of a detective. We come to know Mozart personally, as a musical genius, but more than that, as a living, breathing, thinking person. --Yo-Yo Ma
Considered one of the most important music biographies ever written, esteemed biographer Maynard Solomon draws on a half-century of new information to provide an in-depth account of Mozart's family life, his passions, and his personality.
Although there are many accounts of Mozart's life, and countless descriptions and analyses of his music, this is the first attempt to portray Mozart's creative life as a composer. Küster selects forty works or groups of works covering virtually every important stage in Mozart's career, from
the first keyboard works of the young Wunderkind to Mozart's final days and the composition of the Requiem. Each chapter deals with the developments and events in the lives of the Mozarts as associated with or highlighted by a particular work or constellation of works. The bulk of the book--the is
concerned with Mozart's life and compositions from his arrival in Vienna in 1781 to his death there some ten years later.
pinnacle of musical achievement.